Research released today in the journal Pediatrics
stated that in 2007 rates of autism in the U.S. were 1 in 91 for children 3 to 17 years old. This data involved a sample size of 78,037 children from the 2007 National Survey of Children’s Health. According to the study, “A child was considered to have ASD if a parent/guardian reported that a doctor or other health care provider had ever said that the child had ASD and that the child currently had the condition.” With this prevalence, they estimated that 673,000 children have ASD in the U.S.
These rates are highly alarming, up from a previous estimate of 1 in 150 children. However, they are not surprising to the hundreds of thousands of families living with autism on a daily basis, and to the millions of families who know someone with a child with autism.
While it is a disturbing statistic (1 in 91), many autism organizations and advocacy groups hope that this new insight with shed light on this epidemic and help the government, medical community, and researchers see the need to do essential research and answer questions that have gone on too long without proper attention. These subjects range from vaccinated vs. unvaccinated population studies, determining what children may be at most risk for autism, the importance of medical treatment and insurance coverage for children with autism, and (of course a topic near and dear to my heart) the benefit of dietary and nutritional intervention for autism.
Read the abstract from Pediatrics.